Double podium from Pol Espargaro & Tito Rabat for Tuenti Móvil HP 40 in Motegi
Pol Espargaró and Tito Rabat got 2nd and 3rd place in the Japanese circuit, while Axel Pons, who finished in the top ten for the first time in Moto2, rounded off a very special weekend for the team of Sito Pons. For the first time all three riders finished in the top ten.
The race started with Tito Rabat leading and Pol Espargaró suffering from problems with the fresh tyres which lead to him almost crashing a few times.
Half way through the race, Tito found himself overtaken by Márquez and Polyccio, who had started another duel which would last until the finish line, but at the same time he kept the distance to Redding and Luthi to secure his first podium of the season and the second of his career.
Pol Espargaró’s podium is the 10th of this season, the 6th in a row, and the 20 points gained allowed him to break the 1000 points barrier since his debut in the championship. The nest challenge is to delay the victory chants of Marc Márquez, equalize or exceed the 12 podiums of 2010 and also the 281 points of his final year in the 125cc class. Pol currently lies 53 points behind the leader and is 52 points ahead of the third in the championship.
I had a lot of trouble in the first few laps with the fresh tires and I had a couple of big wobbles when I almost crashed. After that I started charging, I overtook Tito and then began hunting down Márquez. Like in other occasions I believe I could have gone a bit faster, like the 1.51.0 in the last lap, but as I have less acceleration power, good brakes are just not enough to be leading. We will work to improve the acceleration in Malaysia and will try that Marc won’t be crowned champion yet. As long as there’s even the slimmest chance, I will keep fighting, although this time the distance has increased and we have one less race left. I took ten podiums and it feels like a good season, but we’re lacking a little something to gain more races.
It’s been a very difficult race and I’m happy because I’ve been working very hard and I’ve earned this podium. I’d like to dedicate this podium to my mother who since early this year is unfortunately no longer with us, and I hope that in future I’ll be able to dedicate more and better podium positions to her. I started well and was riding very comfortably, but when first Marc and then Pol overtook me, I felt a little bit under pressure and lost my concentration for a bit and they got ahead of me. Behind them, I involuntarily changed my riding style, I lost grip and couldn’t control the bike properly. When I calmed down, I returned to riding with confidence and didn’t have problems to maintain the distance to the riders behind me, securing the podium. I believe it’s been a great weekend and we figured out what we’ve been missing in other circuits to be able to go fast. My aim is to be able to fight for wins before this season is over.
I’m very happy with my result because it’s my first time in the top ten. We’ve done great work this weekend and I hope we can continue like this for the remaining three races of the championship. When Zarco joined the group I saw that he had a great rhythm and I thought if I could follow him we could get away. The result is a small compensation for all the work done and I hope it’s only the first of many good results.
Source: Pons Tuenti HP 40 Team